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ACEing Autism Weathers COVID-19 Pandemic

April 29, 2020 06:10 PM
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ACEing Autism was founded in Boston, MA, at the Longfellow Club in Wayland, MA in the summer of 2008 by Richard Spurling and Dr. Shafali Jeste with 15 kids. As of spring 2020, ACEing Autism has 86 program locations in 30 states. Their first Georgia program started out in Decatur in 2015, and in 2018, moved to Peachtree Corners. There are two other Georgia locations in Powder Springs and Woodstock. 

ACEing Autism’s adaptive tennis curriculum creates an opportunity and a safe, patient and fun space for children with autism to foster the enjoyment of fitness, gain interest in a new sport and increase social skills, fine and gross motor skills, turn-taking, and confidence. These community programs offer a space for kids to be themselves and have fun while learning tennis.  

The Peachtree Corners program operates out of the LifeTime Athletic and Tennis Center and serves 12 participants, many of which continue to return session after session, building friendships among each other and with the volunteers. ACEing Autism runs as many sessions as they can, sometimes four to six sessions a year. A team of volunteers that join them for two hours each Saturday for six weeks at a time. The program directors are Sue Hites and Andy Cha. 

2020 is proving to be a tough year to plan for special events and activities, due to the current situation surrounding COVID-19. ?Although spring and summer sessions all across the country were canceled, ACEing Autism has been engaging with our community in several ways—and continue to find new ways to engage with the ACEing Autism community.

National staff are putting out short and fun Tennis Tuesday videos on social media that participants can follow along with, to keep their tennis skills sharp. The videos also include uplifting stories about what makes ACEing Autism special. Zoom sessions help our participants do exercises and drills to continue to build friendships and stay active during this time.

 

 

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